Monday, March 31, 2008

About gouache

"House and Sea" - 8x10, gouache on canvas panel

What is gouache? Pronounced "gwash," gouache is opaque watercolor. Like watercolor, it is thinned with water, but to a creamy consistency, rather than to a thin transparent wash. It has traditionally been used by illustrators because its matte finish reproduces very well for print media. However, it has been used as a fine art medium since the 16th century, when Albrecht Durer used it to paint the hairs on his famous rabbit. I love working with gouache because it is easy to manipulate, correct and clean up. Actually, what I use is "acrylic gouache," made by Holbein, that contains enough acrylic medium to dry the paint to a hard, permanent film. This means I can paint one layer of color over another and the bottom layers won't lift off. The paint also dries to such a durable finish it can be framed without glass, like an acrylic or oil painting. Several manufacturers now make acrylic gouache and it can be found readily through online art suppliers.
This is my first post to my brand-spankin' new blog!

On Saturday, four friends and I joined hundreds of other artists around the world in a sketching marathon called SketchCrawl.  Our focus was downtown Decatur, Georgia, USA, a suburb of Atlanta.  We spent the morning in the town square's park where a gazebo, bronze sculpture (including T. Jefferson, here) and milling people provided ample subjects.